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Great Ball Contraptions

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Comments

  • Coolguy5000Coolguy5000 Ireland Member Posts: 1,565
    As someone who keeps stumbling across this thread but has little knowledge of lego power functions/technic, are there any tutorials out there for buildng simple modules that can then be linked?

    These are awesome guys, look forward to any new modules posted!
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    edited February 2018
    Planet GBC has a long list of different modules which have building instructions. Maico Arts' website also has quite a few

    There are two really easy to build modules that have been created in the last year or so.

    The first is the 'GBC Ramps' module from Brickworld 2017.

    The second is Maico Arts' module from Skaerbaek 2017. This one is designed to be linked with other modules of the same design, so that one motor drives multiple modules.

    Huw has built Maico Arts' module, and I've built a version of the GBC Ramps module, and they're both nice simple, reliable modules, great for an introduction to building GBCs.
    SeijiAmasawa
  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 1,189
    Im back with another module.  Star Wars Trench Run, most of the time spent on this one was designing the trench wall, and small ships since the mechanics are fairly simple.

    Enjoy!



    ...This is disgustingly amazing, and the more I watch the video the more I hate you for it, because I know I'm going to be spending money building my own soon >.<
    SirBensid3windr
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,960
    That will be a crowd-pleaser at displays for sure!
    stluxHugeYellowBrick
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,960


    There are two really easy to build modules that have been created in the last year or so.

    The first is the 'GBC Ramps' module from Brickworld 2017.

    The second is Maico Arts' module from Skaerbaek 2017. This one is designed to be linked with other modules of the same design, so that one motor drives multiple modules.
    They are great examples. One is nearly all 'System' the other virtually all studless.

    I've not built the ramp but may have a go at doing a studless version.
    SeijiAmasawa
  • Coolguy5000Coolguy5000 Ireland Member Posts: 1,565
    Planet GBC has a long list of different modules which have building instructions. Maico Arts' website also has quite a few

    There are two really easy to build modules that have been created in the last year or so.

    The first is the 'GBC Ramps' module from Brickworld 2017.

    The second is Maico Arts' module from Skaerbaek 2017. This one is designed to be linked with other modules of the same design, so that one motor drives multiple modules.

    Huw has built Maico Arts' module, and I've built a version of the GBC Ramps module, and they're both nice simple, reliable modules, great for an introduction to building GBCs.
    Thanks! I'l have a look and hopefully try something out soon.
  • SeijiAmasawaSeijiAmasawa USMember Posts: 253
    edited February 2018
    This thread is a rabbit hole which my wallet probably won’t survive. I’ve just built my first GBC, the Maico Arts Skaerbaek 2017, and it’s so cool. 
    But dang, those balls are expensive!
    SirBensid3windr77ncaachamps
  • Brickster7Brickster7 MD, USAMember Posts: 8
    You can buy new balls from Lego Bricks & Pieces, although they seem to be out of stock right now.  When they were in stock last year I think they were about $0.91 each.  They don't have the black patterns like they the original ones but they should be 100% physically the same. Also, PV Productions has cheaper replica balls in white and orange and Quercetti sells balls that are close enough for basic testing purposes and much cheaper.
    SeijiAmasawa
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 588
    Planet GBC has a long list of different modules which have building instructions. Maico Arts' website also has quite a few

    There are two really easy to build modules that have been created in the last year or so.

    The first is the 'GBC Ramps' module from Brickworld 2017.

    The second is Maico Arts' module from Skaerbaek 2017. This one is designed to be linked with other modules of the same design, so that one motor drives multiple modules.

    Huw has built Maico Arts' module, and I've built a version of the GBC Ramps module, and they're both nice simple, reliable modules, great for an introduction to building GBCs.
    I’ve built both and plan to have them running at a LUG event tomorrow. Hopefully I can get a video posted of the layout.
    SeijiAmasawagreatballpitPaperballparkstluxsid3windr
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    Huw said:
    That will be a crowd-pleaser at displays for sure!
    I hope so!  I plan on putting it beside my BB-8 GBC for the Star Wars double whammy!
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    In Canada, the price of balls from Lego Replacement parts has gone up over 25% since last year!!  Insane.... I just ordered 23 of the "friends heart" GBC balls from BrickLink to top up my supply for the year.
    SeijiAmasawa
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 588
    But dang, those balls are expensive!
    If you’re part of a LUG, talk to your ambassador about requesting some as part of your LUG support for the year. We were able to receive some a few years ago, but I know the support program has been adjusted a few times since then.

    If you’re not, try try finding a LUG in your area and then follow the above steps.
    PaperballparkJenniSeijiAmasawa
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    edited February 2018
    Well, another day, another module! Unfortunately I'm rather running out of M motors - I only have one left! So I decided that as I made a small Sweeper module a couple of weeks ago which was specifically designed to connect to other modules, I'd make another one which utilised this function, so that I didn't have to use my last M motor!

    And this is what I came up with - an Axle Lifter module. It has the same input design as the Sweeper too. Like the input on the Sweeper, it's also detachable:







    I've also done a video, which shows it alongside the Sweeper module and my trusty four-step lifter.


    CCCFizyxstluxFowlerBricksbandit778SeijiAmasawaLittleLoriAddicted2Oxygenstevecook132
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,960
    Excellent. We'll have a good selection for Bricktastic at this rate!

    Are you taking them to NSC?
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    edited February 2018
    Huw said:
    Are you taking them to NSC?
    I'm not, no. I don't currently own enough balls to be able to do a display on my own (I had to word that carefully!). I'm hoping to have a good few by the time Bricktastic comes round though. Plus I'm taking my Palace of Westminster to NSC, so I think if I had that plus a GBC layout there, it would be a bit too much for me on my own!
    PeteMstluxsid3windr
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,704
    Well, another day, another module! Unfortunately I'm rather running out of M motors - I only have one left! So I decided that as I made a small Sweeper module a couple of weeks ago which was specifically designed to connect to other modules, I'd make another one which utilised this function, so that I didn't have to use my last M motor!
    As someone who will shortly take my first faltering steps into the GBC world, can I ask why you use M motors, as opposed to L or XL? A number of the GBCs I've seen online seem to use XL motors for even small modules. Does it matter which you use?
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    As someone who will shortly take my first faltering steps into the GBC world, can I ask why you use M motors, as opposed to L or XL? A number of the GBCs I've seen online seem to use XL motors for even small modules. Does it matter which you use?
    Hi Dave,

    The M motor has a higher speed, where the XL motor has more torque (but is slower).  Depending on your modules requirements you will probably use what works best.  Sometimes it comes down to using what you have available as well.

    On my recent Mine Loader Remix module video I used an XL motor on both the Mine Loader, and later in the video on the small conveyor module.  Confusing for sure!  Neither of those modules need that beefy XL motor and could run off an M-Motor for sure.

    The simple answer is I used those motors because of their slower speed.  For the "Remix" series of modules I like to use the motor that will work best at full speed, because those modules are supposed to be accessible and people that build them may not have access to a 9v Train speed controller, only the battery box (which runs at full speed).

    The small conveyor uses the XL motor because of the speed I need that to run at when it's connected to it's partner module the Tri-Sep.

    I have a small blog article written up about the motors here if you are interested.  http://www.greatballpit.com/2018/01/whw-power-function-motors.html

    stluxSeijiAmasawaSirBendrdavewatfordsid3windr
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,960
    edited February 2018
    I use almost exclusively M unless the module requires higher torque that causes the M to struggle.

    I also design all my modules to work off a battery box and gear down as necessary.

    I only have 1 L and haven't found a need to use it, although it would be much easier to mount in studless constructions. It's also double the price of an M...
    SeijiAmasawaSirBen
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    edited February 2018
    I've yet to acquire an L Motor since I started building GBC after the Bucket wheel excavator came out, they don't seem to ship them in the newer sets anymore.

    In other GBC news I was surprisingly delighted to notice that I could chain up multiples of my Roadwork Redux module off a single motor by adding an axle and two universal joints.




    stluxFizyxAddicted2Oxygen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    Well, another day, another module! Unfortunately I'm rather running out of M motors - I only have one left! So I decided that as I made a small Sweeper module a couple of weeks ago which was specifically designed to connect to other modules, I'd make another one which utilised this function, so that I didn't have to use my last M motor!
    As someone who will shortly take my first faltering steps into the GBC world, can I ask why you use M motors, as opposed to L or XL? A number of the GBCs I've seen online seem to use XL motors for even small modules. Does it matter which you use?
    Mainly because the M motors are a lot cheaper! I also managed to get 8 of them for £1 each a few months back, so I had quite a surplus of them.

    As others say though, in most modules there's really no need for anything faster or with more torque. In fact most of my modules are geared down so that they're slower than the motor runs. I've only used an XL motor in one module (which isn't finished and probably never will be), but even then its entirely possible that using an M motor would be fine.

    I can see why complex modules (such as Akiyuki's Ball Factory) might need something with a bit more torque, but I've not built any really complex ones yet. For normal modules, M motors are fine.
    SirBen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    Oh, and I'm afraid I design my modules to be powered by a 9v Train Controller. The first couple I built and tested using a rechargeable battery box, but I then found that the Train Controller seems to me to have quite different characteristics across the speed range. Given that I'm going to use that for running them, I decided to also use that when building and testing them too.

    Most of my modules don't need full power, and will happily run on half power. I've come up with a colour-coded system so that I know what speed each module is best run at. I also suspect that if you need less power to run a module, you can probably then run more modules from that Controller. I'm not an electrical engineer, but that kinda makes sense to me.
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 588
    edited February 2018
    As someone who will shortly take my first faltering steps into the GBC world, can I ask why you use M motors, as opposed to L or XL? A number of the GBCs I've seen online seem to use XL motors for even small modules. Does it matter which you use?
    I use M motors because they’re more affordable than the others, and they work. 
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 541
    If you need an XL motor for even a small module, then you either have a bind somewhere or you seriously need to consider using silicone oil.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,704
    Thanks @greatballpit, @Paperballpark, @Huw and @SirBen - sounds like the choice of M, L or XL motor is, in most cases, not critical which is good to know. I've picked up a couple of M and XL motors from [email protected] recently so will experiment!

    @Huw mentions that he gears down as necessary when using a battery box; presumably the use of a 9v train controller gets around this to some extent as you can vary the voltage, and therefore the speed?
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    ^ yes it does get around that. Obviously it's more convenient if they can run at the same speed, as you can then control more than one module using the same train controller. You also don't need to remember which speed each of them runs at if they'll all run well at full speed!
    drdavewatford
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,525
    Huw said:


    The 7l beams were printed by Fab-Bricks and intended, of course, to identify my modules at displays.

    Ooh, upping the game there.
    Fizyx
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    edited February 2018
    Hey @Huw Looks like we had the same idea, I finished a ramps type module last night myself!  Lots of system brick though!  This module has the ability to power other modules through a gear chain.  I'll be making a video on it soon.

    Inclination Power Station (Stand Alone Mode - Motor Internal)


    Power Station Mode - Motor External, I will use the Dogbone pieces to secure the modules together.

    PaperballparkcatwranglerHuwFizyxstluxSeijiAmasawaAddicted2Oxygen
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    ^ Dogbone pieces?

    greatballpitFizyxM_Boss
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    edited February 2018
    These things!

    Fizyx
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    Oh, the H beam!
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 2,802
    H beam... Piper? Little Fuzzy?
    Jenni
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    What?
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 2,802
    Sci-Fi book titled "Little Fuzzy", by H. Beam Piper. I think. My work computer won't let me use Google, and my phone doesn't work in the basement, and it's been a long day that's not over yet... It's quite possible I'm making no sense at all.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,003
    I thought they were I beams! 

    They grey with clear panels looks very nice.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    See, I write my I's as they appear here - just as a line, so there could be confusion if you refer to an I beam :)
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    @greatballpit I've just realised the input for those two modules isn't to standard, as the sides are way too high. Off the top of my head I have at least three modules which wouldn't be able to output into them. Sorry!
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 778
    Are there any sets that make particularly good GBC parts packs?  Technic sets with lots of gears/axles for example?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,960
    The bucket wheel excavator is an excellent one, although no longer available for the bargain price it was before xmas. I ended up with 5 of them...
    paul_mertondmcc0Fizyxcatwrangler
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    @Paperballpark A lot of my modules are only 10 high on one side.  I usually only have multiple 10 high sides on modules I think would make good "corner" modules.  I see what you are saying though, so I might modify these so they are more standard.

    Here is my latest video, its a Tipping Ramp module made out of parts in the 42062 Container Yard set.



    PaperballparkricecakeCCCdrdavewatfordstluxSeijiAmasawaAddicted2Oxygentomahawker
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    Nice module. Did you use all the parts from the set?

    The standard obviously won't matter if you're just doing a layout yourself, but if you do a collaborative one then there may be some issues! :)
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,960
    Nice one!
  • greatballpitgreatballpit Vancouver, CanadaMember Posts: 85
    edited March 2018
    @Paperballpark No, there was quite a few parts left for the Container Yard Remix.

    Here's the more GBC standard compliant versions of the previous modules I showed.
    It is two tipping ramp modules and a double ball pump module that can be run separately or together.



    dmcc0Addicted2Oxygenstevecook132
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 898
    I can't help but feel like those of you posting in here look at Technic and it's like you're seeing into the Matrix directly - I'm continually astonished with the techniquess and ingenuity here!
    dmcc0greatballpitFizyxcatwranglerM_BossAddicted2Oxygen
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,967
    greatballpit said: 
    @Paperballpark No, there was quite a few parts left for the Container Yard Remix.

    Here's the more GBC standard compliant versions of the previous modules I showed.
    It is two tipping ramp modules and a double ball pump module that can be run separately or together.



    What do you edit your videos with? The captions are very neat.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    edited March 2018
    So I was able to procure a 9V Train transformer/controller.

    I still need an adapter though.

    Does anyone have links on Amazon or eBay for an adapter that works with a 9-12V controller?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,960
    @Paperballpark and I got some on eBay.co.uk.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    Huw said:
    @Paperballpark and I got some on eBay.co.uk.
    But I'm in the US. :/
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,172
    mr_benn said:
    I can't help but feel like those of you posting in here look at Technic and it's like you're seeing into the Matrix directly - I'm continually astonished with the techniquess and ingenuity here!
    I think it's just an extension of what most of us do with System bricks - the more you use them, the more you get to know the elements, how you can combine them, what will work and what won't, what the best pieces are for the job you want to do, etc. etc. It's basically the same process, just a bit more technical.
    Fizyx
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